Where do you buy your pots and switches?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Oldguitarguy, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-Meister

    404
    Mar 2, 2019
    Nj
    I have several project guitars (Squier Strats and Epiphone SG’s and want to buy a bulk of good quality pots, switches and caps for upgrades. Anybody have a good reliable and reasonably priced source (preferably free shipping)? What brand do you recommend? Audio or linear?
     
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  2. Marko60

    Marko60 Squier-Meister

    126
    Oct 4, 2012
    England
    C T S, Audio Taper
     
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  3. rbh32

    rbh32 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    40
    421
    Feb 12, 2018
    Valley, AL
    EBay- TAOT CTS pots are great.. have them in all my guitars now..
     
  4. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Combination of Amazon, and eBay.

    For a while a few years back, I was flipping cheapos weekly.
    I always go cheap on repairs for those, installing CTS pots, and Oaks-Grigsby switches does not pay for itself at that price point (it doesn’t at any price point really... only do that on stuff you intend to keep), so I’d get the alpha pots, and import switches off Amazon in bulk.

    At one point, I found a eBay seller practically giving away Strat & Tele harnesses for almost cheaper than I could buy the parts in bulk... I bought a bunch, and when I found a Bullet/affinity/SE Strat or Tele that had more than one issue, I’d just replace the whole harness.

    I won’t argue about quality of components and tone other than to say a Mylar chiclet cap works EXACTLY the same electrically/tone wise as a Sprauge.

    Everything else is mechanical: Oaks switches have larger contact points, and heavier springs than import models, that’s just physics... so again, only on guitars you intend to keep. Pots: while full size pots have a larger contact area/lugs, and are easier to solder, I’ve seen just as many full size CTS pots fail as I have alphas. What many folks perceive as better tone after a pot/cap change is really the change of sound/tone in the new/different span of the components... example: “It’s as loud on 4 now, as it used to be on 6!”

    but if you measured the resistance on both pots, you would have found the old one at 6 has the same resistance as the new one on 4. This goes double for changing pot values to 500K because of adding a humbucker, what used to be “5” is no longer 5.

    For “good” components for my keepers, Amazon is still my go-to. I’ve found kits from vendors like ToneShaper, and even Fender for dirt cheap on clearance.
     
  5. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Don't forget, long shaft for pots in wood (SG, LP ...), short shaft for plastic (Strat, Tele ...)
    Would you share your present prefered seller's links ?
     
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  6. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-Meister

    404
    Mar 2, 2019
    Nj
    Thanks. How concerned should I be about the difference in pots for guitars made in US v China? My guitars were made in China/Korea/Indonesia. Would rather not change out dials etc unless I need to. What’s the difference and what characteristic should I look for in them?
     
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  7. Treehouse

    Treehouse Squier Talker

    15
    Dec 4, 2019
    The Arboritum
    I’m fortunate to live down the road from Darren Riley’s shop so stopping in is my preference for getting anything I need for maintenance.

    I unfortunately don’t have more business to give him... since I don’t collect (or sell) guitars and the parts he does sell me are high quality and last forever!
     
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  8. chefjeff

    chefjeff Squier-Meister

    Age:
    59
    112
    Sep 4, 2019
    California
    I have used 920D.com for CTS pots, wiring and switches. Excellent products and service.
     
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  9. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Here’s the issue, some sellers I’ve used are no longer on Amazon, or eBay... you’ll see some of the links say “not available”, and of course for some items, the prices are higher than I paid when I bought them (some as far back as 2015).

    but here they are, right from my sales history:

    Vendors


    Strat harness (double the cost now):
    JIUWU Strat Guitar Wiring Harness Prewired 3x 500k Pots 1 Volume 2 Tone Control Knobs 5 Way Switch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QRJHPJM/?tag=squiertalk-20

    Fender pots:
    Fender 500K, Split Shaft Potentiometer for Volume or Tone https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P0XBS8/?tag=squiertalk-20

    3 CTS pots/cap:
    CTS 250K Short Shaft Audio Pots Lot of 3 (3X) 450G Series w/Orange Drop .047uF Cap https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GK75WXC/?tag=squiertalk-20

    Alpha pots with knobs:
    8sets Guitar Knobs and Potentiometer A500k 16mm Base https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009A48X3I/?tag=squiertalk-20

    Jacks:
    Conwork 10-Pack 1/4" Jacks 6.35mm Microphone Mono TS Socket Female Connector Panel Mount https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071JK5CFX/?tag=squiertalk-20

    Fender 5 way switch:
    Fender 5-Position Strat/Tele Super Switch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JCM33Q/?tag=squiertalk-20

    Mini-toggles:
    TOOGOO(R) 10 Pcs AC 125V 6A Amps ON/ON 2 Position DPDT Toggle Switch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IIDY49E/?tag=squiertalk-20

    4way Tele switch:
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/123932072002

    I can’t find the Dirt Cheap Tele harnesses I bought, too far back on eBay.

    I’m not buying anything currently, as I still have stock left from these purchases.
     
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  10. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    well... they are different size holes, so putting a full size CTS in an import guard will require drilling.

    Most guys recommend audio taper, but YMMV.
     
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  11. seua

    seua Squier-holic

    Age:
    61
    Mar 23, 2014
    France
    GFS.... they have all ;)
     
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  12. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    yes... but even with discounts codes... Shipping can cost more than parts for small orders.
     
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  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Age:
    40
    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    I've used many of the above. It's Art of Tone nowadays. Good, narrow spec solid shaft pots are what I can't seem to find without shelling out at someplace like StewMac, which I had Max membership for 2 years...not worth the second year so now not a member lol.

    https://theartoftone.com/
     
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  14. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Nut

    Age:
    22
    681
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    This doesn't really help you directly, but I do so at local stores. If you have a decent amount of non-GC options, or at least luthier shops, you may be able to get a good supply locally. It's a little annoying to go hunting when they sell the same stuff at different prices and seemingly no one has everything you need (getting a TUSQ nut was a PITA, nobody sold those, so I had to make a special order through my luthier to his supplier which he only did so for knowing me for a few years).

    You probably can't beat the convenience of having everything dropped at your doorstep, but for instance, one of the stores I've bought a bunch of parts for my Squier two years ago happens to sell strings and goodies cheaper than anyone else and I've became a regular thanks to that first visit... to the point of buying my PRS there as well. You may never know the connections you'll get by checking what's available to you locally. :)
     
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  15. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Thanks.

    I just forgot I was on Squier-Talk and none of those links are any good for my Epiphone guitars :)
     
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  16. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Squier

    Age:
    43
    Sep 27, 2014
    North Pole
    I get everything from eyguitarmusic.....if you're doing work on import guitars, use Alpha brand pots - 'A' for audio taper for Strats on all 3 pots......for Gibson/Epiphone I use A for volume and B linear taper for tone. If you buy CTS, your existing knobs probably won't fit....and the holes in the pickguard need enlarging....

    15 mm shaft for Strats, 18-19mm shaft for Gibson/Epiphone rear mount through the body.....

    Why buy CTS when Alpha are just as good or better for 1/3 the price?

    https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/

    @Oldguitarguy
     
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  17. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-Meister

    404
    Mar 2, 2019
    Nj
    Very helpful. Thanks!
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  18. beagle

    beagle Squier-Meister

    I use alphas for everything metric, I prefer Japanese DM30and DM50 switches, I find them on Amazon.
     
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  19. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Squier

    Age:
    43
    Sep 27, 2014
    North Pole
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